About

Violence against women and girls takes many different forms in the Pacific and includes physical and/or sexual violence, sexual exploitation and trafficking, and harmful practices such as sorcery accusation-related violence. Combatting violence against women has been a regional priority for a number of years, with leaders expressing their commitment to eradicate sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in 2009 and reaffirming commitment to gender equality with the Gender Equality Declaration (PDF, 353.1 KB) in 2012.

A number of initiatives to combat SGBV are being progressed by regional and international organisations across the Pacific in partnership with PILON countries. Pacific leaders recognise the need for continued work in this space, with human security, including gender equality, forming a key plank of the Boe Declaration on Regional Security. The Boe Declaration Action Plan reaffirms commitment in the region to eradicate gender based violence and continue to progress the Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 5 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – combatting violence against women.

PILON has retained a strategic focus on SGBV since 2013 and continues to partner with others in the region, including the Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resource Team, to eliminate violence against women. PILON’s current focus is on improving justice system responses to SGBV and ensuring access to justice for women and girls, by ensuring that vulnerable witnesses have appropriate support when giving evidence in Court.

Chair

  • Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale ( Attorney General, Samoa)

Members

  • American Samoa
  • Australia
  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Niue
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

Upcoming activities

2020
New activities will be announced soon.

Completed activities

2020
PILON Week Webinar – The effects of COVID-19 on sexual and gender based violence in the Pacific

13 November 2020, 2pm – 3pm Samoa Time (WST)

The Pacific Islands Law Officers Network (PILON) hosted a webinar on the impacts of the pandemic on Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the Pacific. This event was delivered in partnership with the Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Centre, the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and the PNG Family Sexual Violence Action Committee. Recording of this webinar will be available soon.

2019
Explanatory Material for the Model Provisions on Special Measures for Vulnerable Witnesses

The PILON SGBV Working Group is currently developing explanatory material for the Model Provisions on special measures for vulnerable witnesses that were developed by the working group in 2019.
Download (PDF, 2.0 MB)

2019
Model Provisions for Vulnerable Witnesses for amending Evidence or Criminal Procedures Acts to incorporate special measures for vulnerable witnesses to SGBV offences

This resource contains model provisions for countries to consider including in Evidence Acts, or Criminal Procedure Codes, to ensure that special measures can be accessed by vulnerable witnesses when appearing in Court. The provisions also propose countries consider overturning some gender-biased evidence requirements contained in common law.

Download (PDF, 817.6 KB)

General Principles for obtaining the best evidence in SGBV matters

The General Principles are intended to support prosecutors, police, court staff and other service providers, with things to consider when a vulnerable witness, such a child or survivor of sexual assault, is attending court.

Download (PDF, 3.0 MB)

Workshop: Quality Evidence without Re-Victimisation: Promoting Special Measures for Vulnerable SGBV Complainants

25-27 March 2019, Apia, Samoa

Download workshop agenda (PDF, 743.7 KB)

2015
Victim Impact Statement Template

This is a template Victim Impact Statement to assist countries with recording and submitting victim impact statements to Court in SGBV (and other criminal) matters.

Download (DOCX, 27.1 KB)

Monitoring and Evaluating SGBV Legislation, Monitoring and Evaluating – Victim Impact Statements

These templates have been created to assist countries with monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of three specific aspects of SGBV legislation – protection/police safety orders, prosecutions and victim impact statements. The report provides guidance on how to use the templates and links to additional resources to assist with monitoring and evaluation.

Download PDF for printing (PDF, 1.6 MB) Download document for editing (DOCX, 929.4 KB)

SGBV - Best Practices Research

This report contains an overview of best practices for establishing mechanisms and processes with justice systems to provide access to justice for women and girls.

Download (PDF, 786.8 KB)

Further learning resources

For further resources and useful tips in relation to SGBV, please visit the Digital Library.

Photos